Builder Felix Jaensch has constructed a life-sized LEGO figure he calls “Grumpy Girl”. He tells us “she is in a huff at the moment” but offers no other explanation for her dour demeanor. Maybe she’s cold? Annoyed? Maybe she’s in a huff at the condition of the world today? Maybe she just doesn’t want to turn that frown upside-down right now. Who knows, this piece poses more questions than answers. But there is no denying the skill needed to bring this grumpy young lady to life.
This shot offers up clear details, her lips in a pout, her well-sculpted nose, and even her zipper on her hoodie are all amazing details. She’s seen some things in her day and she’s a bit peeved by it, and that’s OK. While her expression may be dour, she still puts a smile on my face, even for just a little while.
Here are plenty of other times Felix’s life-like work has made us smile.
Once, long long ago, I nearly got fired from my job at Toys R Us. Someone had called in asking if we had Playmobil sets. I thought they meant LEGO. My TRU did not stock Playmobil. When they got to the store, they were NOT happy. I have since learned my lesson. Playmobil is a very different toy line. And then Miro Dudas comes along and makes me question everything all over again. Dangit.
Built as an entry for the Iron Forge contest, this masterful bit of deception uses the minfigure wrench as a key piece. That part creates the distinctive shape of the figure’s hands, as well as appearing as the hands of the clock. You also have to appreciate the 1:1 scale artist tools. I particularly like the use of the 4×4 round plate with hole to form the rim of the open paint jar. I also like the compass – the use of a minifig rapier for the pointy end is pretty neat.
It’s a very nice creation. Even if it does make my head hurt a little.
Models don’t get much betta than this. This fintastic creation is by Marcel V who nails the avid fisherman look. Prominently featuring a plaid shirt, with two custom fly lures dangling from the pocket. Sideways treads make a sofishticated zipper. Getting really down into the accurate details, our intrepid fisherman’s chest hair is exposed (horns) and he’s sporting a chain necklace. And what’s a fisherman without a rod? Perfect use of the chakram piece along the length.
A frequent staple of the Brothers Brick, LEGO Designer Markus Rollbühler knows his way around the LEGO kitchen. He’s dished up a hearty broth containing soft flex hose noodles, minifig leg mushrooms, some yolky eggs, and a white and pink spiraled narutomaki. Gotta say the photography really helps the model shine as well. I’d order this in a restaurant.
Hungry for more? We’ve got you covered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Why not have some dessert while you’re at it?
This orange, perfectly balanced scale by Joe incorporates microscale vignettes representing the effects of time. There are several details to hunt for and appreciate here — check out the teeny tiny tree trunks on the mountain side of the scales, and the really subtle shaping about a third of the way up from the base of the clock achieved with minifig chairs placed top-to-top.
One of the first things I’m going to do when the lockdown comes to an end is head out for a decent burger. This LEGO model by Joe has got me in the mood for fast food. It was initially the “wooden” table which caught my eye in this creation — a nice combination of colours and parts evoking the feel of a cracked piece of timber. However, a closer look revealed something else notable — a plethora of minifigure leg parts used throughout the model. The burger patty, the lettuce, some of the fries, and the straw — all made with minifigure legs. Not sure leg meat is the best source of protein for a burger, but hey, if it tastes good, I’m in.
Joe Klang is back in the workshop making more amazingly deceptive 1:1 scale models. If you thought his LEGO Etch-a-Sketch and Atari were neat, prepare to do a double-take with his cordless power drill.
Although the drill is what caught my eye I think my favorite tool is the orange adjustable box cutter making great use of the newer rounded plates to provide both smooth AND textured edges.
1:1 LEGO models are among my favorite fan creations, particularly because I appreciate the immense effort of manipulating the vast system of pieces (most of which have studs that would immediately give the game away!) into something familiar and handheld that seems like it couldn’t possibly be built out of LEGO.
I don’t play video games, since I was that poor, deprived kid whose parents never bought him a system, and I didn’t have friends who played them, either. I played with LEGO bricks instead. That being said, I do have nostalgia for certain video games, having watched others play them at certain times of my life. Take Contra, for example. A few guys on my high school cross country team used to play that game in the wrestling coach’s office after practice, cursing up a storm and generally having a good time. Seeing this old TV and console with that logo across the screen built by qian yj brought me back to those halcyon days of youth. With a crowd pressed into the small room, we’d watch bandanna-and-aviator-wearing elder statesmen of the team gleefully shoot pixelated villains.
The curve of the small screen is great, a far cry from the giant flat screens of today. And the antennas, the corded controllers, the cartridge… ah, memories. The small details look spot on. It took me several views, in fact, and a careful zoom, to be sure that the console was made from LEGO and not just the real deal with brick-built accessories. Does it make it play better if the LEGO cartridge is taken out and blown upon? Probably.
Early last year, I wrote an article about a pair of LEGO meerkats and mentioned the species’ vigilance and protectiveness. And it’s true, these little guys are one of the most family-oriented animals in the world. It’s the job of every member to take a fearless rotation as babysitter or sentry, and when there’s danger they act as one “mob” to defend themselves. Quite impressive! When I saw this build by Felix Jaensch, I swore I had seen it before. But maybe that’s just because he’s such an incredible artist of lifelike LEGO art.
While these guys are certainly impressive, I wouldn’t even say this is his best build. We’ve featured many more, including a rabbit, macaque, red panda, hamster, kestrel, and blue and gold macaw.
What are you doing with your time? If you answered anything other than building a life-sized motorcycle out of LEGO then let me stop you now. Because Australian builder Ryan McNaught and his team has done just that. Cool, right? It’s probably way cooler than whatever the hell you’re doing right now. But before you go wallowing into a swirling cesspool of self-doubt and despair, let me point out that Ryan is a LEGO Certified Professional. He does this kind of stuff for a living, so that is why he builds such cool things. Toyco in Auckland asked them to build something special for their big store event and this is the result. Ryan tells us that “The Britten V-1000 motorcycle is not only a record-breaking piece of revolutionary engineering, but it is also a Kiwi icon and a testament to the vision of a single man.” Wow, I guess not being tied down to anyone-in-particular has its benefits. So now you can feel less sad about your lonely, uncool existence. See, it’s a post with a positive message!
While you’re mulling that over, here is a close-up of just some of the engine and organic exhaust pipes in detail. Toyco is holding a local contest to guess the exact amount of LEGO pieces this motorcycle contains. That figure is still confidential but based on this close-up I’m going to take a well-educated guess and state 42 pieces. Come on, Ryan, am I even close? You can tell me!
Replicas are a dangerous business. Sometimes they look too good, and people mistake them for the real thing (I think of the elder Dr. Jones breaking a “Ming Dynasty” vase in The Last Crusade), but sometimes they are horribly disappointing (see most full-size car replicas). But when the replica is made in a different medium than the original, it is easy to tell it apart from the real one while still looking good. This lovely fire engine by Jens Ohrndorf is a striking example. Made to imitate a classic wooden toy, it checks all the boxes: simple figures that slot into place; a moving ladder; the wheels really spin; and it is red. But it’s not wood, but genuine ABS plastic LEGO bricks. With nary a stud showing, it is exceptionally clean, and a casual observer could be forgiven for thinking it something else but LEGO. That’s the point. It’s a replica. And an exceptionally good one at that.
Is there a contest I’m missing or are cameras the popular true-to-life choice for LEGO artists right now? Lately we’ve had a few camera builds, and they’re all too awesome to pass up. This Nikon FG, built by Ming Jin is one that has caught our eye. There is something about the marriage of LEGO and a camera body that works so well. Just enough blockiness and curves at the same time.
You can check out those other cameras I mentioned by viewing our LEGO camera archives.